This is the first part of a collection called “Design icons of the 20th century that you must know!” The main point is to pay attention to designers in the past that have inspired many designers in the present. I won’t re-write their biographies. You can find plenty of information on the internet. Let pictures be an inspiration for you!
In the first part I would like you to introduce with design icons such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Hoffman, Eileen Gray and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe.
Combining a progressive modernity with the spirit of romanticism, the Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) created many of the best loved and most influential buildings, furniture and decorative schemes of the early 20th century.Mackintosh worked in interior design, furniture, textiles and, metalwork.
Excelling in all these areas, Mackintosh left hundreds of designs and a rich volume of realised work. His distinctive style mixed together elements of the Scottish vernacular and the English Arts and Crafts tradition with the organic forms of Art Nouveau and a drive to be modern. As his work matured Mackintosh employed bolder geometric forms in place of organic-inspired symbolic decoration.
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Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the most prolific and influential architects of the 20th century. From his early Prairie Style homes, to the sculptural curves of the Guggenheim Museum in New York he defined a North American style of architecture which was rich in emotion and sensitive to its surroundings.
One of the founders of modern architecture in North America, Frank Lloyd Wright embraced the use of new technology, materials and engineering to create some of the 20th century’s most influential and iconic buildings. During a long and productive career spanning 70 years he designed over 1,000 buildings of which over 400 were built.
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Hoffman’s works combined functionality and simplicity of craft production with refined and innovative ornamental details and geometric elements.
He is an important precursor of the Modern Movement and Art Deco.
The strict grid pattern which formed the basis to many of his designs, as well as being a favoured decorative motif, earned him the nickname ‘Quadrutl H Hoffmann’ (Little Square Hoffmann).
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Eileen Gray (1878-1976) is now regarded as one of the most important furniture designers and architects of the early 20th century and the most influential woman in those fields. Her work inspired both modernism and Art Deco.
Her design style was as distinctive as her way of working, and Gray developed an opulent, luxuriant take on the geometric forms and industrially produced materials used by the International Style designers, such as Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Mies Van Der Rohe, who shared many of her ideals.
Her voluptuous leather and tubular steel Bibendum Chair and clinically chic E-1027 glass and tubular steel table are now as familiar as icons of the International Style as Le Corbusier and Perriand’s classic Grand Confort club chairs.
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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 – 1969) was German-American architect, who along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential 20th century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity.
Famous for his dictum ‘Less is More’, Mies attempted to create contemplative, neutral spaces through an architecture based on material honesty and structural integrity.
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